Sensory Exploration


At Children First, we try to create a wonder-full place, a way of life that keeps those cups brimming over. We believe that young children are constantly absorbing, collecting and storing the sense impressions that will inform and inspire their creative and emotional lives for years to come. For that reason, we believe it matters what they see, taste, smell, hear and touch — what feeds their senses — day after day. We are nourishing children’s bodies and souls, and believe they deserve a rich and inspiring sensory diet.

aya shell

Indoors, children find clay to squeeze and shape; scarves and blankets and pillows to snuggle into; rice and beads to touch and pour and stir. There are the smells of cooking; of cut flowers; of little candles decorating a block building. There are the sounds of music playing or being made. There is color everywhere, not riotous but plentiful — colors for children to mix, arrange and change when they build, design, paint and draw.

rice table marbles

Outdoors, sensory opportunity abounds, because there is so much space, so much freedom, and so much natural beauty. There is birdsong, and insect noise, and sometimes there are horns being tooted and cymbals crashing.  There are flowers to smell, vegetables to pick and taste, sand to lift and sift, mud to pat and stomp, and lots and lots of water — water in tables for touching and playing, water in buckets and showers if you want to get drenched, water in the creek to splash and muck about in. There are spaces for finger-painting and body painting, and pails for making gloppy mixtures. There are soft blankets and hard blocks, heavy planks and lightweight foam. There are sunny spots and shady spots. There are raspberries and honeysuckles to pick off the vines and thorns to avoid when you hide in the rose bush. There are big rocks warmed by the sun to haul around in the spring, and chunks of ice to hurl on the ground and shatter in wintertime. There’s a colorful cloth hammock to cocoon inside all by yourself, and a giant tube slide you and your friends can stuff with foam blocks for a rowdy but cooperative crash landing.

elliot henry slide